Hiring a consultant can feel like a complicated (and scary!) process, especially for something like Search Engine Optimization or getting more traffic where you may not see the results for 3, 6, or 9+ months (depending on the competitive landscape).
When you’re evaluating a Search Engine Optimization consultant, these are the questions that I recommend my friends and colleagues ask any consultants they’re evaluating.
There aren’t any ‘right’ answers per-say; rather, these questions let you see their thought process and strategic direction on a project.
An initial ‘Search Engine Optimization Discovery’ project makes the most sense to get these questions answered. That way, you get the questions answered in a way that makes sense for both you and the consultant and you’re able to ‘test the waters’ with a small paid project to see how you work together.
- What SEO issues your consultant sees site-wide on your site
- For your top performing pages for Organic traffic, what issues does the consultant see?
- What keywords are you currently ranking for? (Just the top 2-4 by traffic)
- What keywords are your #1 competitors ranking for? (Just the top 2-4 by traffic)
- What is the strategic plan for ranking higher / copying competitor keywords?
- How healthy is your backlink profile? (how many unique sites are linking to you, are they high quality, etc.)
- How does this compare to your competitors? (who is linking to them!)
- What would make sense as a link building strategy? What strategies does the consultant recommend/advocate? (You want to avoid anyone who mentions ‘Our secret method’ or ‘Using Private Blog Networks…’ — focus on sources of links that make sense for you, your products, and your business)
- What’s the plan to get +5-10 links from unique, high-quality referring domains every month?